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About the Sheriff

Sally Hernandez

Sheriff Sally Hernandez
Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez has the distinction of being one of only six female sheriffs in the state of Texas. A leader by example and a worker by nature, she prefers the demand for day-to-day challenges over the political spotlight. Her passion is teamwork, and she strives tirelessly to leverage every relationship to the benefit of her community.

Keenly aware that challenges like mental health reform and public safety in one of our nation’s fastest-growing counties cannot be achieved by one person alone, her focus is on partnerships. She knows that together, we’re better. She’s proving it one collaborative effort at a time.

The impact of her leadership has garnered attention and high praise. Sheriff Hernandez’s no-nonsense policy on immigration shed light on the issue of ICE Detainer Requests being civil in nature, lacking probable cause. It launched a national debate that continues today. Passionate about the plight of the mentally ill, she has made great strides in an effort to alleviate the unfortunate trend in county jails of inmates incarcerated as a result of crimes committed solely due to the fact they suffer from mental illness. Working together with advocates and organizations, Sheriff Hernandez is dedicated to seeing people suffering from mental illness treated in a hospital rather than a jail cell. Once an “at-risk” teen herself, she is fiercely dedicated to efforts that keep kids out of jail and disrupt the school-to-prison-pipeline.

Sheriff Hernandez was elected in November 2016 and serves a jurisdiction that encompasses 1,100 square miles, including the state’s capital, with a population of 1.2 million. Uniquely qualified for such a challenging leadership role, she’s worked in law enforcement for 39 years, over 30 of which have been in Travis County.

She began her career in law enforcement in 1981 in Llano, TX as a night dispatcher. In 1988, she moved to Austin and served as a deputy with the Travis County Constable Precinct 3 Office. In 1992, she was hired as a sergeant investigator for the Travis County District Attorney’s Office. In 2005, she advanced to Chief of Investigations and over the next eight years, built strong trial teams composed of investigators, prosecutors, and victim counselors who sought justice for victims and fervently worked to keep Travis County safe. In 2013, she was elected as Travis County Constable Precinct 3.

Known as a person who tells it like it is, Sheriff Hernandez continues to serve on various boards and lends her advice and counsel to numerous organizations.

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